Monday, November 28, 2005

The Beginnings of Aborted Posts

Sometimes when you write, you're finished from the start. Here's two I've started this week. The first is a reaction to a Times article on middle-aged career women quitting their jobs to take care of their indigent parents. The second is a review of the new Harry Potter movie.

In today's New York Times, there's an article titled "Forget the Career, My Parents Need Me At Home." The first two paragraphs tell the story:

WASHINGTON, Mich. - Until last February, Mary Ellen Geist was the archetypal career woman, a radio news anchor with a six-figure salary and a suitcase always packed for the next adventure, whether a third-world coup, a weekend of wine tasting or a job in a bigger market.

But now, Ms. Geist, 49, has a life that would be unrecognizable to colleagues and friends in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. She has returned to her family home near Detroit to care for her parents, one lost to dementia and the other to sorrow.
The problem is that the first two paragraphs really do tell the story. The rest of the article is devoted to typical east-coast bashing of the midwest -- how this woman can't get white balsamic vinegar anymore, but still drives her Mercedes, etc. Who cares that this lady lives in one of Detroit's poshest suburbs -- it was even in Money Magazine as a "contender" for one of the best places to live in the country. Not New York or San Francisco, ergo the sticks. What sacrifice.

Here's my Harry Potter review:

Just let me indulge myself. I saw the new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, on Friday. I like the Harry Potter movies, and I've seen all four so far at the theatre. I haven't read and have no immediate plans to read any of the books, so I just get to enjoy a new chapter every year or so, without any need (or ability) to compare films to books favorably or unfavorably. I especially enjoyed the first movie (cute and fun with a refreshing and thoroughly British odd charm) and the third (a real film, with a real story and young characters who come off the screen), but all of the movies have been good.

Jesus, I bored myself just cutting and pasting that over here. Too many parentheses, too much hedging and digression, and just too much crap about nothing anyone might care about. To write well you have to approach language as a fencer, or better yet, a prizefighter. The beauty of language is really evidence of a kind of skill, in the form of speed, force, and rhythm. If your ideas aren't able to take the shape of any of those, who cares what they are? You're never going to get them out.

In this case my big idea was that the movie was okay, but what especially struck me -- apart from the speed, force, and rhythm of Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort -- was how James and Oliver Phelps, the actors who played Ron Weasley's older brothers Fred and George, have turned from gangly teens into really quite beautiful young men. Especially James. Rrarrr.

I was also smitten by Cho Chang, Harry's super-cute would-be girly-friend. Particularly her Scottish accent. Cho is played by Katie Leung, who apparently was born as late as 1987. So I don't know which of the two is less appropriate.

My original title for this review was "Harry Potter: T&A Edition."


LPS said...

1) that nyt article was totally horrifying and made me want to buy old-parents-with-no-one-to-look-after-them insurance right now. one of the (many) drawbacks of only-childhood.

2) dude, a threesome with the weasly twins would be about the best thing ever, I don't care WHEN they were born. other reviewers (i.e. my friend veronica) have commented on how fred and george stole every scene... think J.K. could do a spin-off series about the joke shop so we could have more movies of them?

3) I assume your "especially James" comment was a playful twin joke.

Gavin said...

I try not to be so straight that It's boring, and I certainly have noticed that the Weasley twins are well on their way to a certain classical beauty (and the long hair--why did all the Weasleys suddenly have long hair?), but, uh, Hermione, I mean Emma Watson is certainly becoming quite the young lady. . .

Harry Potter, the new softcore porn. God bless America, and God save the Queen.

Tim said...

No, Laura -- I totally think James is the better-looking of the Phelps twins, and I think a careful examination of the photographic evidence will bear this out. His features are just a touch better-proportioned and more delicate. He's also the brother who pulls off the little flirty gestures in getting a date for the ball that would make any girl -- or apparently, a 26-year-old heterosexual guy -- melt. Although I doubt they'd double up with me unless I had some kind of shape-changing potion.

And yeah, Emma Watson was cute, but I don't think her, Rupert Grint, or Daniel Radcliffe were significantly cuter in this movie from the last one, even if Ron is surprisingly burly and sporting a spot-on case of Tim-hair. Azkaban was the great leap into adolescent beauty for all of these actors -- I think we'll have to wait for them all to get closer to legal before they'll cross the next threshold. I mean, PG-13 usually means partial nudity, right?

Gavin said...

I do have to agree that there was no significant increase in trio hotness between HPIII and HP IV. (In fact, was it just me, or did Hermione's, ahem, assets seem a bit more generous in that pink sweatshirt than they did in that otherwise oh-so-fetching dress? Methinks that the Time Turner may not have been the only artificial assistance that everyone's favorite nerd-witch was using during her third year.)

On the other hand, while Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson are both on the shy side of sixteen, Rupert Grint is a full 17. And you know what that means.

Weasley schlong in the R rated Order of the Phoenix.

LPS said...

"Weasly schlong" should be a banned phrase.

Gavin said...

Dude, but Weasley Schlong is playing at Mac's tonight. They're opening for Mouthfeel.